Mario Vázquez Raña, a Mexican newspaper publisher who briefly owned United Press International and was a powerful member of the International Olympic Committee, died on Sunday in Mexico City. He was 82.
Carlos Padilla Becerra, the leader of the Mexican Olympic Committee, confirmed Mr. Vázquez Raña’s death but did not specify the cause.
Mr. Vázquez Raña, the owner of more than 60 newspapers in Mexico, took over the struggling U.P.I. news agency with a partner, Joe Russo, in 1986, paying $40 million. At the time, Mr. Vázquez Raña’s fortune was estimated to be $1 billion. He sold the company after two rocky years. It is now owned by an affiliate of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.
Mr. Vázquez Raña led the Association of National Olympic Committees from 1979 to 2012. In that role, he was one of the most powerful people on the International Olympic Committee for years. He also served on the committee’s executive board.
He was a close ally of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the president of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001.
Mr. Vázquez Raña resigned from all of his Olympic positions in 2012 in the face of a possible revolt by delegates to the Association of National Olympic Committees.
He was the president of the Pan American Sports Organization at the time of his death.
“He had outstanding merit within the Olympic movement, and we will always remember him as a great Olympic leader,” Thomas Bach, the current I.O.C. president, said in a statement.
The Olympic flag at the I.O.C. headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, was to be flown at half-staff in his honor, Mr. Bach said.